Why You’ve Failed to Get In Shape. If you’re like an awful lot of people, then at some point you have probably tried to get into better shape. That might mean you joined a gym, or perhaps you paid for a training program to get written for you. And if you’re like an awful lot of people, then you may well have failed to stick at the training program or to see the results you wanted.
Why is that? Get In Shape. Probably, it comes down to the simple fact that the training program was too ambitious. Very often, a training program will involve working out three, four or five times a week at a gym. As a standard rule, workouts will be somewhere between 40-60 minutes. So that’s immediately 4-5 hours of extra time that you need to take away from your current working week.
Then there’s the fact that you need to travel to and from the gym. This can take anything from 10 minutes each way to 30 minutes. Then there’s showering and then there’s the amount of extra washing you create and the fact that you need to pack for the gym. So what you’re really doing is taking about 10 hours out of your working week. Get In Shape? That’s huge.
And more to the point, these are ten exhausting hours. That’s before we’ve even considered the amount of work we’re expected to do in the kitchen: we’re supposed to be transforming our diets to be low calorie (meaning low energy) and we’re supposed to shop for the food, cook the food, wash up afterward… it’s all stressful too.
Cooking can be stressful and so can spending all that extra money on the gym, on the food, on the petrol… it’s just too much! There’s a good chance to Get In Shape, that the very reason you’re not exercising and getting enough activity right now is that you’re too tired half of the time. This is why so many of us let ourselves get into bad shape to begin with. It’s why we turn to junk food. And it’s why we struggle to stick at new goals.
In short, we’re already doing as much as we can. So again, the problem here is energy. Energy management is more important than time management by far when it comes to exercise so really you need to focus on getting more of that. So next let’s look at what’s sapping energy in your life. For many of us diet comes into play here and eating lots of junk food can certainly prevent us from feeling our very best and healthiest.
Failed to Get In Shape
So that needs to be changed. More important though is work. If you are coming home from work stressed, then you’re going to have very little energy for throwing yourself into a workout. Likewise, stress from other sources such as your finances or relationships can also have a negative impact on your ability to train. So you need to fix that too to Get In Shape.
There are practical considerations too like finances (staying in shape can be expensive!). And like space if you’re training at home (which is a good shout for most people). Even if you’re not training from home, having a tidy flat/house to come home to can make all the difference in terms of your energy and how you feel and it means you have one less thing to do at the end of the day (tidying up in this case).
Likewise, looking good will fill you with energy and confidence too which will translate to a better mood and more energy to attack workouts. A lot of energy is linked with mood, as we’ll see later in this book. Then of course those other things do also come into play: time, motivation and the right program.
The point I’m making is that picking a training program and pledging to stick at it just doesn’t work unless you’re also looking at what has been holding you back so far. Right now you probably fill your time with activity as much as you can and then crash on the sofa because you’re out of steam. If you had the energy to work out, then you’d already be working out.
You’re not, because you don’t. So don’t come up with an unrealistic 5-day workout plan until you’ve looked at the rest of your life – including your physical energy, happiness and mental discipline. You have to change everything if you want to get into great shape. And as you’ll see, this then makes changes in the rest of your life. Working out will give you more energy.
And when you get more energy, you will find you start to perform better at work. This will be helped by the fact that you now look and feel more confident and attractive filling out that suit/pencil skirt with a more toned physique. Working less means you’ll have more energy to train. Training means you’ll have more energy to do better at work.
And these kinds of two-way relationships exist throughout your entire lifestyle.
Deciding What Matters
Your lifestyle is self-sustaining then and everything you do is supporting that lifestyle and making it harder for you to change. So where can you possibly start? As mentioned, one of the key things to think about is energy management and planning. Just knowing that you have a finite amount of energy throughout the day and making decisions on that basis.
And this brings us to our first, super important tip: If you’re going to introduce something big into your life, then you need to remove something else. This sounds like a big deal and many of us will be resistant to it at first. But it’s also true. If you’re going to try and exert yourself for 30 minutes after work every day, then you need to find a way to save 30 minutes of both time and energy.
Getting up 30 minutes earlier will give you more time. But perhaps going to bed 1 hour earlier the night before can give you some more of the energy. Or perhaps you just make the decision to save energy by going out a little less. If you have a weekly pub trip, then consider cutting that out (especially seeing as alcohol will sap your energy in the long term).
If you have a very busy social calendar, perhaps consider seeing one friend less. That sounds harsh but life is all about making tough decisions. Or maybe you’d rather cut out one of your more tiring hobbies/extracurricular activities? Again, it’s hard and it seems cold. But the simple fact of the matter is that every action needs an equal and opposite reaction.
You can pull extra time out of thin air to Get in shape. But that’s what is going to bring us to our next chapter and a somewhat more appealing sounding alternative: finding lots of little ways to save more time and more energy throughout the day. This is where the concept of kaizen comes in.
If you can save a little energy on the way to work, save a little energy in the morning, save a little energy doing the dishes… well then you might just have a bit more to ‘spend’ doing the things you love and the things that are important to you.
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